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ISSUE III

THE INSTITUTIONALIZED REVIEW

Readers, writers, friends,

After a year's rest, we are thrilled to bring you The Institutionalized Review: Issue III.

For those new to our magazine, I created TIR to generate a haven for creatives with a shared story—those who have experienced institutionalization, hospitalization, and/or incarceration (or have had their lives touched by these subjects), and longed for a space to uplift their stories with a supportive editorial team on their side. I had a vision of community: writers and artists with meaningful, brilliant work under their wings, editors with a passion for representing under-served narratives, and a platform that could illuminate the institutional experiences that millions endure each year, and often go through in silence. Today, I am so proud of what The Institutionalized Review has fostered; it has exceeded my vision and grown into a truly exceptional community.

We were captivated by the strength, vulnerability, and empathy of the work that crossed our desks this round, and we could not be prouder of the round-up of writers and artists whom we get to honor in this issue. Issue III features poetry that unfolds the isolation of hospital hallways and visiting rooms; poetry that weaves through episodes of madness with grace and clarity; poetry that opens portals into institutions and explores both struggle and levity; poetry that captures the electricity of healing, of stabilizing, of finding solid ground in the storm. We feature prose that brings alive both the mundanity and the violence that can accompany hospitalization; prose that knocks against form to capture the echoes of incarceration; prose that invites readers into psyches in search of a balm. From our artists, we feature evocative mixed-media pieces highlighting the trauma of the troubled teen industry, powerful self-portraits, and abstract works that are alight with purpose.

Of all our issues, I believe this one is full of lighthouses: guiding those with shared experiences to safety. We're so glad you're here.

The work in this issue explores a range of topics related to institutionalization, including psychiatric hospitalization, long-term rehabilitation, eating disorder treatment, incarceration and juvenile imprisonment, the troubled-teen industry, conversation therapy, psychiatric cults, support groups and therapy, mental health crises, and more. Our submission call traveled across the globe, with contributors worldwide, including (but not limited to) the United States, Canada, Australia, and Pakistan.

Above all else, this issue would not exist without our writers and artists. Each time we release an issue, I remain amazed (though never surprised) at the outpouring of admiration and support exchanged between issue-mates and the ongoing love shown to our magazine by past contributors. To our writers: You are the community we longed to build; you have fulfilled this magazine's dream. We are honored to stand in the light with you.

To our readers: Thank you for being here. Many of the pieces in this issue, by the nature of our mission, deal with heavy or potentially triggering topics. We have included content warnings along with many of our written pieces. If you may be vulnerable to any of the topics or themes mentioned in our content warnings, please prioritize your emotional needs, exercise self-care, and read (or choose not to read) with care. We love you as readers, but we love you more as people. Your wellbeing comes first.

We are deeply proud to hold space for such brave, vulnerable, and empathetic art. We thank you, writers and readers, for your engagement, compassion, and courage. Stay brave. Stay brilliant. Stay wonderful.

Warm regards and happy reading,

Piper Gourley, EIC

Endless and enormous thanks to our incredible associate editors: Andrea Day (Poetry), Ximena Delgado and Truth Thomas-Alexander (Prose), and Noé Nelli (Art).

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